Fantasy News & Analysis

Jahnke: Fantasy football reactions to NFL Week 14

Dec 13, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs the ball past Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Sidney Jones (35) during the second quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

The fantasy playoffs have begun. The early slate of games gave us a mix of blowouts and failed fourth-quarter comeback attempts. Running back storylines ruled the day: Several RBs were missing due to injury or Covid-19, others returned from various ailments and Derrick Henry helped many fantasy managers advance in the playoffs.

As always, this collection of fantasy reactions will include snap counts for skill players on each team, along with notes on players who saw their fantasy stocks rise or fall during the action — and how we should react to anything new.

Dallas Cowboys at Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys Cincinnati Bengals
WR WR
Michael Gallup – 48 snaps Tee Higgins – 65 snaps
Amari Cooper – 42 snaps A.J. Green – 63 snaps
CeeDee Lamb – 26 snaps Tyler Boyd – 59 snaps
Noah Brown – 8 snaps Alex Erickson – 8 snaps
Cedrick Wilson – 7 snaps Mike Thomas – 6 snaps
Stanley Morgan Jr. – 3 snaps
TE TE
Dalton Schultz – 49 snaps Drew Sample – 64 snaps
Blake Bell – 15 snaps Cethan Carter – 18 snaps
Sean McKeon – 9 snaps Mason Schreck – 2 snaps
HB HB
Ezekiel Elliott – 32 snaps Samaje Perine – 28 snaps
Tony Pollard – 19 snaps Trayveon Williams – 27 snaps
Giovani Bernard – 17 snaps
Total – 51 snaps Total – 72 snaps

Winner: WR A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

Green put up the best numbers of anyone in this game with six catches on seven targets for 62 yards and a touchdown. The veteran has certainly put up better numbers in the past, but this was a big step forward from the goose eggs he’s put up in three of the last four games. None of the Cowboys put up great numbers, with a lot of their offensive success coming off of turnovers.

Loser: RB Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals

Bernard has been the lead back for the Bengals since Joe Mixon left Week 6 with a foot injury. Bernard fumbled on the second offensive play of the game and was benched for the rest of the first half. It was only his third fumble over the last four seasons. Trayveon Williams and Samaje Perine split opportunities during Bernard’s absence. Williams gained 49 yards on 12 carries, while Perine gained 32 on 10 carries. Bernard took all of the third-quarter snaps, while Perine led the way in the fourth quarter. This is a three-back committee to avoid the rest of the season.

Dynasty Watch: Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys

Pollard ended up with a better fantasy performance than starter Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys had a double-digit lead in the second half when the two running backs nearly split playing time. Elliott gained 48 yards on 12 carries, while Pollard gained 39 yards on 11. The big difference came in the pass game, where Pollard caught both of his targets including a touchdown. Elliott dropped one of his three targets. Pollard remains an intriguing option if he can ever see half of either the Cowboys’ or another team’s offensive snaps.

Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars

Tennessee Titans Jacksonville Jaguars
WR WR
Corey Davis – 42 snaps D.J. Chark Jr.  – 64 snaps
A.J. Brown – 37 snaps Keelan Cole – 61 snaps
Cameron Batson – 21 snaps Laviska Shenault Jr. – 53 snaps
Nick Westbrook – 19 snaps Collin Johnson – 19 snaps
Kalif Raymond – 16 snaps
TE TE
Jonnu Smith – 41 snaps Tyler Eifert – 45 snaps
MyCole Pruitt – 34 snaps James O'Shaughnessy – 27 snaps
Geoff Swaim – 32 snaps Eric Saubert – 9 snaps
Anthony Firkser – 16 snaps
HB HB
Derrick Henry – 42 snaps James Robinson – 40 snaps
Jeremy McNichols – 22 snaps Dare Ogunbowale – 22 snaps
Devine Ozigbo – 6 snaps
Total – 66 snaps Total – 71 snaps

Winner: RB Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

Henry dominated with 215 rushing yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns. The Titans handed the ball to Henry more than they threw the ball. In the pass game, Henry added two catches for seven yards. Henry only took one snap in the fourth quarter, as the game was out of reach at that point. This is the easiest game on the schedule for Henry in the fantasy playoffs, so he could be the highest-scoring running back this week and each of the next two. Henry was fighting for a rushing title, but the goal might shift to a 2,000-yard season. He needs to average 156 rushing yards per game in order to get there.

Loser: RB James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars

Robinson wasn’t as involved in the offense as he usually is. He has averaged 21.2 carries per game since Week 7 but was given just 12 carries today. He gained 67 yards on those attempts, with 47 of them coming on one run. He averaged less than two yards per carry over the other 11. He also lost opportunities in the pass game. He was the clear third-down back the last three weeks but today ended up with 35.7% of the third-down snaps. Backup Devine Ozigbo put up bigger numbers in the pass game with 30 yards on four catches compared to 16 yards on four catches from Robinson. Robinson was questionable coming into this game with a knee injury, which likely impacted his usage. It’s possible the Jaguars limit Robinson the rest of the season to reduce risk of further injury.

Returning From Injury: TE Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans

Smith missed last week’s game with a knee injury, but he was ready to go this week. The Titans gave him his usual role of playing most first and second downs. Smith gained 20 yards on two catches. Geoff Swaim ended up with the best numbers from Tennessee’s tight end room with three catches for 34 yards and a touchdown. Swaim remains primarily a run-blocking tight end. Smith should see more opportunities than Swaim in games where the Titans aren’t blowing someone out.

Kansas City Chiefs at Miami Dolphins

Kansas City Chiefs Miami Dolphins
WR WR
Tyreek Hill – 57 snaps Lynn Bowden Jr. – 59 snaps
Sammy Watkins – 54 snaps Mack Hollins – 40 snaps
Demarcus Robinson – 33 snaps Malcolm Perry – 33 snaps
Mecole Hardman – 19 snaps Jakeem Grant – 31 snaps
Marcus Kemp – 4 snaps DeVante Parker – 27 snaps
Antonio Callaway – 22 snaps
TE TE
Travis Kelce – 56 snaps Mike Gesicki – 43 snaps
Nick Keizer – 12 snaps Adam Shaheen – 37 snaps
Deon Yelder – 8 snaps Durham Smythe – 36 snaps
HB HB
Clyde Edwards-Helaire – 46 snaps Patrick Laird – 42 snaps
Le'Veon Bell – 11 snaps DeAndre Washington – 39 snaps
Darrel Williams – 5 snaps
Total – 62 snaps Total – 83 snaps

Winner: WR Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs

Hill didn’t see many opportunities in this game, but he made a lot of plays when given the chance. He caught three passes for 79 yards and a touchdown and added a 32-yard carry for a second touchdown. Travis Kelce gets an honorable mention with 136 receiving yards on eight catches and the Chiefs’ third touchdown of the day. These two players were a primary reason Kansas City extended its winning streak.

Injury Replacement: RB DeAndre Washington, Miami Dolphins

Myles Gaskin ended up on the Covid-19 list yesterday, leaving the Dolphins thin at running back. Matt Breida is also on the Covid-19 list, while Salvon Ahmed is dealing with a shoulder injury that has left him out of multiple games. Washington was the next man up. He’s typically considered a passing-down back, but the Dolphins used him as an early-down back. Patrick Laird handled the third-down snaps as well as 42% of the early-down work. Washington was limited to 35 rushing yards on 13 carries. Laird didn’t fare much better with 19 yards on four carries. Neither back was involved much in the pass game. This situation should be avoided if none of the other backs are available next week.

Injury: WR DeVante Parker and Jakeem Grant, Miami Dolphins

Both wide receivers left the game around halftime with leg injuries and didn’t return. Parker didn’t catch a pass before exiting the game, while Grant caught three passes for 32 yards. The Dolphins were already thin at wide receiver before this pair of injuries. In the second half, Mack Hollins and Malcolm Perry were the primary outside receivers. Rookie Lynn Bowden Jr. manned the slot receiver role throughout the game. He put up the biggest numbers with 82 yards on seven catches on nine targets. Hollins was also a favorite receiver with five catches for 66 yards on nine targets. Hollins would likely be the waiver wire target depending on the severity of the injuries.

Injury: TE Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins playing without their top three running backs and top three wide receivers wasn’t bad enough. Gesicki left the game with a shoulder injury in the fourth quarter and didn’t return. Gesicki put together his second two-touchdown game of his career before leaving. He caught five total passes for 65 yards. Adam Shaheen would be the Dolphins’ primary receiving tight end if Gesicki ends up missing time. Shaheen would be worth a waiver wire pickup in this case. Part of Gesicki’s problem is that he only plays in clear passing situations, while Shaheen would play every down. The Dolphins’ injuries at wide receiver mean Shaheen would probably see a high target share.

Houston Texans at Chicago Bears

Houston Texans Chicago Bears
WR WR
Steven Mitchell Jr. – 61 snaps Darnell Mooney – 45 snaps
Chad Hansen – 53 snaps Allen Robinson II – 45 snaps
Keke Coutee – 49 snaps Anthony Miller – 33 snaps
Isaiah Coulter – 6 snaps Javon Wims – 25 snaps
Riley Ridley – 2 snaps
TE TE
Darren Fells – 40 snaps Cole Kmet – 51 snaps
Jordan Akins – 36 snaps Jimmy Graham – 29 snaps
Kahale Warring – 15 snaps J.P. Holtz – 5 snaps
Demetrius Harris – 3 snaps
HB HB
Duke Johnson Jr. – 30 snaps David Montgomery – 40 snaps
Buddy Howell – 23 snaps Cordarrelle Patterson – 19 snaps
C.J. Prosise – 13 snaps Ryan Nall – 3 snaps
Total – 66 snaps Total – 60 snaps

Winner: WR Allen Robinson II, Chicago Bears

The Bears dominated with four touchdowns on their first six drives. Robinson put up the best numbers of the group with nine catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. This was his first 100-yard performance since Week 4 and his third of the season. David Montgomery is deserving of an honorable mention with 113 rushing yards on 11 carries and a touchdown, along with 42 receiving yards on three catches. Most of Montgomery’s production came on an 80-yard run to start the game, plus some work in garbage time.

Covid-19 Replacement: RB Duke Johnson Jr., Houston Texans

David Johnson landed on the Covid-19 list earlier in the week. David already missed most of November, so the Texans had gotten used to playing without him. Duke returned to the starting lineup with C.J. Prosise as his backup. The Texans shifted strategy for the second half, with Johnson and Buddy Howell splitting third-quarter snaps. Howell ended up playing 85% of the fourth-quarter snaps as well.

Howell played the best in the run game with 42 yards on 11 carries. Johnson ended up with the second-most receiving yards for the Texans on the day with 53 yards on two catches. The Texans are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. Howell could see an extended role over these last three games even if David Johnson is ready to return next week.

Injury Replacement: WR Steven Mitchell Jr., Houston Texans

The Texans recently inserted Keke Coutee as the slot receiver and Chad Hansen as one of the outside receivers after various injuries and Will Fuller’s suspension. Brandin Cooks was the latest of the Texans wide receiver woes. He ended up on the inactive list due to both a foot and neck injury. Mitchell replaced Cooks as the other outside receiver. Hansen was the favorite target for the Texans — he caught all seven passes thrown his way for 56 yards. Coutee was thrown at only three times but scored the Texans’ only touchdown. Coutee should see more targets in future matchups that are more favorable to him.

Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants

Arizona Cardinals New York Giants
WR WR
Christian Kirk – 66 snaps Darius Slayton – 47 snaps
DeAndre Hopkins – 63 snaps Sterling Shepard – 39 snaps
Larry Fitzgerald – 56 snaps Golden Tate – 28 snaps
KeeSean Johnson – 19 snaps Austin Mack – 4 snaps
Trent Sherfield – 5 snaps C.J. Board – 1 snap
TE TE
Maxx Williams – 51 snaps Evan Engram – 42 snaps
Seth DeValve – 27 snaps Kaden Smith – 23 snaps
Dan Arnold – 24 snaps Levine Toilolo – 10 snaps
HB HB
Kenyan Drake – 44 snaps Wayne Gallman – 27 snaps
Chase Edmonds – 40 snaps Dion Lewis – 16 snaps
Alfred Morris – 6 snaps
Total – 79 snaps Total – 49 snaps

Winner: WR DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals offense was inconsistent throughout the game. Throwing to Hopkins was the one place they continually found success. Hopkins gained 136 receiving yards on 11 targets and nine catches. Hopkins didn’t practice on Wednesday or Thursday and was limited in practice on Friday with neck and back issues. Hopkins performing this well despite the injuries makes his performance even more impressive. The rest of the Cardinals combined for 108 receiving yards.

Returning From Injury: QB Daniel Jones, New York Giants

Jones returned to action after missing last week with a hamstring injury. He was underwhelming, going 11-for-21 for 127 passing yards. The Cardinals dominated time of possession as the Giants offense failed to put anything together. Eight drives ended in punts, three in fumbles and only one in a score. Golden Tate led the way for the Giants’ receivers in terms of yards thanks to a 39-yard catch. The schedule gets a little better for the New York passing game, so there is still hope for Jones and the Giants receivers over the rest of the season.

Dynasty Watch: TE Dan Arnold, Arizona Cardinals

Arnold caught two of four passes thrown his way for 27 yards and the game’s only receiving touchdown. This was his fourth receiving touchdown in the last four games. He tied his season high in targets for the season at four. It’s hard to make him a waiver wire target knowing the Cardinals have never given him many opportunities in the pass game. Given the touchdowns he’s scored, it’s possible they make Arnold a bigger part of the offense in 2021.

Minnesota Vikings at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minnesota Vikings Tampa Bay Buccaneers
WR WR
Adam Thielen – 71 snaps Chris Godwin – 44 snaps
Justin Jefferson – 68 snaps Mike Evans -39 snaps
Chad Beebe – 34 snaps Antonio Brown – 25 snaps
Olabisi Johnson – 19 snaps Scotty Miller – 5 snaps
Tajae Sharpe – 5 snaps Tyler Johnson – 3 snaps
Justin Watson – 3 snaps
TE TE
Tyler Conklin – 45 snaps Rob Gronkowski – 39 snaps
Irv Smith Jr. – 28 snaps Cameron Brate – 24 snaps
Antony Auclair – 14 snaps
HB HB
Dalvin Cook – 54 snaps Ronald Jones – 34 snaps
Ameer Abdullah – 15 snaps LeSean McCoy – 16 snaps
Mike Boone – 4 snaps Ke'Shawn Vaughn – 4 snaps
Total – 79 snaps Total – 51 snaps

Winner: RB Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings offense looked just as good as the Buccaneers with Cook leading the way. Cook gained 102 yards on 22 carries with a touchdown. This was his seventh 100-yard rushing game in his last 10 games. Cooks’ success on the ground led to seven of the eight Vikings offensive drives lasting for seven or more plays. Their only problem is that three of the drives ended with a missed field goal, while another ended up a fumble. It’s worth noting that Cook played this well despite how good the Buccaneers run defense is. Cook faces two more strong run defenses during the fantasy playoffs.

Loser: RB Leonard Fournette, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Fournette was healthy for this game, but the Buccaneers made him inactive. This was a big boost for Ronald Jones, who played in over 75% of the first- and second-down snaps. He played 52.5% of early-down snaps in the last four games. This allowed Jones to score a touchdown and gain 80 yards on 18 carries. LeSean McCoy took Fournette’s place as the third-down back. McCoy had a nice 32 yards on four carries. Rookie Ke’Shawn Vaughn earned his first offensive snaps since Week 6. Fournette can be dropped, while Jones has the potential to win some leagues with more games like today.

Injury Replacement: TE Irv Smith Jr., Minnesota Vikings

Kyle Rudolph ended a streak of 93-straight starts due to a foot injury. Smith has missed a few games recently and was limited in practice during the week. This was an opportunity for Smith to be the main tight end for the Vikings, but he didn’t end up seeing a boost in playing time. Minnesota opted for a sixth offensive linemen, a fullback and Tyler Conklin as the fourth and fifth skill players on the field to go along with their fantasy superstars early in the game. Once the Vikings fell behind, Smith started to get involved in the pass game. Smith led the way for Minnesota with 63 yards on four catches and a touchdown. Ten of the 11 skill players to see an offensive snap also received a target for the Vikings. Smith remains an intriguing dynasty option, as he should receive more playing time if Rudolph is gone next season.

Denver Broncos at Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos Carolina Panthers
WR WR
Tim Patrick – 48 snaps Robby Anderson – 57 snaps
Jerry Jeudy – 45 snaps Curtis Samuel – 53 snaps
K.J. Hamler – 36 snaps Pharoh Cooper – 39 snaps
DaeSean Hamilton – 14 snaps Brandon Zylstra – 27 snaps
Diontae Spencer – 2 snaps Marken Michel – 3 snaps
TE TE
Nick Vannett – 45 snaps Ian Thomas – 46 snaps
Troy Fumagalli – 39 snaps Chris Manhertz – 30 snaps
Noah Fant – 5 snaps Colin Thompson – 9 snaps
HB HB
Melvin Gordon III – 30 snaps Mike Davis – 49 snaps
Phillip Lindsay – 29 snaps Rodney Smith – 16 snaps
Royce Freeman – 4 snaps Trenton Cannon – 2 snaps
Total – 61 snaps Total – 67 snaps

Winner: RB Mike Davis, Carolina Panthers

Davis had the most yards and tied for the most touchdowns in this game, running 11 times for 51 yards and two touchdowns. Davis was consistently running well — no single run greatly impacted his total. He added five catches for 42 yards in the pass game. He needs to remain in starting lineups as long as Christian McCaffrey is out. Broncos wide receiver K.J. Hamler gave Davis a run for his money in the winner spot, as he caught two passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns. Hamler is a sell-high in dynasty leagues because his playing time will likely decrease next year with Courtland Sutton returning.

Covid-19 Replacement: WR Brandon Zylstra, Carolina Panthers

The Panthers had several players placed on the Reserve/Covid-19 list earlier in the week. Most players returned to the active roster, but D.J. Moore did not. Zylstra has been the Panthers’ fourth wide receiver on the depth chart over the second half of the season, and he took Moore’s role to begin the game. He caught one pass on two targets for three yards. In the second half, Pharoh Cooper took over as the second outside receiver. Cooper put together a better performance with 52 receiving yards on three catches. Cooper could be a waiver wire target in deeper leagues if Moore misses another game.

Injury: TE Noah Fant, Denver Broncos

Fant developed an illness this morning, according to Vic Fangio. He tried to play despite the illness but only lasted five snaps before exiting for the rest of the game. Fant’s exit opened the door for Troy Fumagalli to have his best game in the NFL. He came into the day with 50 career receiving yards and doubled that with 53 yards on four catches. Nick Vannett also put up respectable numbers with 20 yards on four catches and a touchdown. The two tight ends pretty much split playing time, including both pass routes and run blocks. They can probably be avoided if this impacts Fant throughout the week.

Indianapolis Colts at Las Vegas Raiders

Indianapolis Colts Las Vegas Raiders
WR WR
Michael Pittman Jr. – 55 snaps Nelson Agholor – 45 snaps
T.Y. Hilton – 41 snaps Henry Ruggs III – 41 snaps
Zach Pascal – 41 snaps Hunter Renfrow – 38 snaps
Ashton Dulin – 11 snaps Bryan Edwards – 20 snaps
Marcus Johnson – 8 snaps Zay Jones – 16 snaps
TE TE
Jack Doyle – 42 snaps Darren Waller – 66 snaps
Trey Burton – 25 snaps Jason Witten – 20 snaps
Mo Alie-Cox – 20 snaps Foster Moreau – 13 snaps
HB HB
Jonathan Taylor – 34 snaps Josh Jacobs – 29 snaps
Nyheim Hines – 22 snaps Jalen Richard – 21 snaps
Jordan Wilkins – 6 snaps Devontae Booker – 19 snaps
Total – 61 snaps Total – 68 snaps

Winner: RB Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts

Taylor put together the best game of his young career with 150 rushing yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns. This was his first 100-yard game since Week 2 and his first game with multiple touchdowns. He added 15 yards on two receptions in the pass game. Nyheim Hines looked good as the clear backup for the Colts with 58 rushing yards on seven carries, along with four receptions. T.Y. Hilton deserves plenty of recognition for the Colts victory as well with two touchdowns and 86 yards. Indianapolis plays the Texans next week, and their star skill players should again put up big numbers.

Returning From Injury: RB Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

Jacobs returned to the Raiders after a one-game absence. For the first three quarters, Jacbos returned to his usual role of playing early downs the vast majority of the time. He didn’t play on third downs, as usual, and in the fourth quarter the Raiders took Jacobs out and gave all the early downs to both Devontae Booker and Jalen Richard. Jacobs gained 49 yards on 13 carries. The most promising part of Jacobs performance was his work in the pass game. His five targets were the most in a game for him since Week 1. He caught three for 25 yards. Jacobs should remain in his usual role in a favorable matchup against the Chargers on Thursday Night.

Dynasty Watch: TE Mo Alie-Cox, Indianapolis Colts

The Colts tight end situation has been evolving throughout the season. Alie-Cox has shown promise and has dynasty value as the young tight end. He was barely involved in the offense today with one catch for nine yards. Half of Alie-Cox’s playing time came in the fourth quarter, primarily as a run blocker. Jack Doyle was the most impressive tight end of the day with 44 yards on three catches. It’s good that Trey Burton is an unrestricted free agent heading into 2021, but Doyle playing ahead of Alie-Cox in passing situations is a problem.

New York Jets at Seattle Seahawks

New York Jets Seattle Seahawks
WR WR
Breshad Perriman – 53 snaps Tyler Lockett – 47 snaps
Jamison Crowder – 38 snaps D.K. Metcalf – 46 snaps
Jeff Smith – 33 snaps David Moore – 39 snaps
Braxton Berrios – 11 snaps Freddie Swain – 33 snaps
Jaleel Scott – 9 snaps Penny Hart – 27 snaps
TE TE
Chris Herndon – 34 snaps Jacob Hollister – 37 snaps
Ryan Griffin – 22 snaps Will Dissly – 36 snaps
Trevon Wesco – 12 snaps Colby Parkinson – 19 snaps
Daniel Brown – 4 snaps
HB HB
Ty Johnson – 20 snaps Chris Carson – 33 snaps
Frank Gore – 17 snaps Carlos Hyde – 30 snaps
Josh Adams – 12 snaps DeeJay Dallas – 9 snaps
Total – 53 snaps Total – 73 snaps

Winner: WR D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks put together as dominant a team performance as you could hope for in the NFL. Five different players scored touchdowns, and the Seahawks were able to start putting backups in during the third quarter. Metcalf put up the best numbers among the Seahawks skill players with six catches for 61 yards and a touchdown. Ideally, Metcalf and the other star players would have put up bigger numbers, but it wasn’t necessary for a Seahawks victory.

Returning From Injury: RB Frank Gore, New York Jets

Gore missed most of last week with injury, allowing both Ty Johnson and Josh Adams to have breakout games. Gore was ready to play again this week but didn’t return to his usual role. The three backs split early-down work, while Johnson played on third downs. Each back saw six to eight carries for 16 to 27 yards. None of the RBs reached double-digit receiving yards. If the Jets had one clear lead back, he could be a fantasy asset down the stretch. This needs to be avoided as a three-person rotation.

Injury Replacement: WR Jeff Smith, New York Jets

The Jets didn’t have Denzel Mims at wide receiver today due to a family matter. Smith took over as the second outside wide receiver and had one 14-yard catch off of two targets. The Seahawks gave up historical numbers to wide receivers early in the season but have played much better down the stretch. The Jets gained 132 yards total in the pass game, with no receiver gaining more than 50 yards.

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers Detroit Lions
WR WR
Davante Adams – 62 snaps Marvin Jones Jr. – 59 snaps
Marquez Valdes-Scantling – 47 snaps Mohamed Sanu – 40 snaps
Allen Lazard – 46 snaps Danny Amendola – 34 snaps
Equanimeous St. Brown -17 snaps Quintez Cephus – 33 snaps
Tavon Austin – 4 snaps Jamal Agnew – 11 snaps
Juwann Winfree – 1 snap
TE TE
Robert Tonyan – 41 snaps T.J. Hockenson – 56 snaps
Marcedes Lewis – 38 snaps Jesse James – 26 snaps
Dominique Dafney – 12 snaps Hunter Bryant – 4 snaps
HB HB
Aaron Jones – 47 snaps D'Andre Swift – 36 snaps
Jamaal Williams – 20 snaps Adrian Peterson – 16 snaps
Kerryon Johnson – 14 snaps
Total – 67 snaps Total – 67 snaps

Winner: WR Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers

Adams was the clear standout of this game with 115 receiving yards on seven catches and a touchdown. This was his eighth consecutive game with at least one receiving touchdown, making him the most dependable fantasy wide receiver this season. This was also his second consecutive 100-yard performance — marking his first back-to-back 100-yard games of the season. The next two matchups are also very favorable.

Returning From Injury: RB D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions

Swift last played in Week 10 — the week when he received his first start. In that game, he ran 16 times for 81 yards and caught five psases for 68 yards and a touchdown. Swift didn’t start this one, but he at least returned to seeing the most playing time among the Detroit backs. He gained 24 yards on seven carries with a touchdown. The other two backs for the Lions ran the ball six times. Swift was also more involved in the pass game with five targets compared to two by the other Lions backs. Swift ideally would have taken more advantage of this favorable matchup, but at least he saw a good amount of playing time.

Injury: QB Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

Stafford left the game in the fourth quarter with a rib injury. He was playing well considering he didn’t have his top wide receiver, finishing the day 24-for-34 with 244 passing yards and a touchdown. Backup Chase Daniel came in and led the Lions to a field goal on their last drive. If Stafford misses any time, this would be a downgrade for all of the Lions receivers and probably more touches for Swift.

New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles

New Orleans Saints Philadelphia Eagles
WR WR
Michael Thomas – 57 snaps Greg Ward – 51 snaps
Tre'Quan Smith – 54 snaps Jalen Reagor – 47 snaps
Emmanuel Sanders -53 snaps Alshon Jeffery – 31 snaps
Juwan Johnson – 5 snaps Quez Watkins – 22 snaps
Tommylee Lewis – 1 snap Travis Fulgham – 11 snaps
TE TE
Jared Cook – 36 snaps Dallas Goedert – 59 snaps
Josh Hill – 18 snaps Zach Ertz – 50 snaps
Adam Trautman – 15 snaps Richard Rodgers – 1 snap
HB HB
Alvin Kamara – 45 snaps Miles Sanders – 56 snaps
Latavius Murray – 20 snaps Boston Scott – 15 snaps
Corey Clement – 2 snaps
Total – 63 snaps Total – 69 snaps

Winner: RB Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles

Sanders put together a few disappointing performances recently and hadn’t scored a touchdown in over two months prior to Week 14. He bounced back in a big way with 115 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns. The majority of his production came from an 82-yard run near the end of the first half. Sanders saw five targets in the pass game, leading to four catches for 21 yards. He also played in a higher percentage of snaps compared to recent weeks. The Eagles’ schedule over the next two weeks is much kinder toward Sanders, so he can be trusted in starting lineups.

Loser: RB Latavius Murray, New Orleans Saints

Murray had been more involved with the Saints offense in recent weeks corresponding to Taysom Hill joining the starting lineup, but he was barely involved in the offense for a second straight week. Murray gained 13 yards on four carries. Alvin Kamara out-played him in the run game with 50 yards on 11 carries, and Kamara scored the Saints’ only rushing touchdown. Kamara was significantly involved in the pass game for the first time with Hill at quarterback. He led the team in targets with 10, bringing in seven for 44 yards. It’s not that Kamara looks like the same-old Kamara, but we’re back to leaving Murray on the waiver wire or holding onto him only as a handcuff.

Waiver Wire Target: QB Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles

The rookie quarterback started his first game for the Eagles and proved he could have significant fantasy value as a runner. Hurts’ 18 carries were the most by a quarterback in a game this season. The majority of the runs were by design rather than quarterback scrambles, so it seems like Hurts running will be part of the offense. He looked fine as a passer with 17 completions on 30 attempts for 167 yards and a touchdown. The schedule is much easier for Hurts over the next two weeks, so he should be able to put up even bigger numbers. The rushing floor gives him QB1 potential.

Dynasty Watch: WR Quez Watkins, Philadelphia Eagles

Watkins is a sixth-round rookie who played a little in Weeks 5 and 6 when several Eagles receivers were injured. Watkins surpassed both Travis Fulgham and John Hightower on the depth chart this past week and saw a season-high in snaps. This likely had to do with Hurts’ familiarity with him. Watkins gained 3 yards on his only target. Alshon Jeffery is unlikely to return to the Eagles next season, and they won’t have the cap space to upgrade at wide receiver. Watkins could work his way into the three-wide-receiver sets in 2021.

Atlanta Falcons at Los Angeles Chargers

Atlanta Falcons Los Angeles Chargers
WR WR
Calvin Ridley – 48 snaps Jalen Guyton – 61 snaps
Russell Gage – 41 snaps Keenan Allen – 57 snaps
Brandon Powell – 28 snaps Tyron Johnson – 54 snaps
Christian Blake – 13 snaps K.J. Hill – 16 snaps
Laquon Treadwell – 8 snaps Mike Williams – 2 snaps
TE TE
Luke Stocker – 33 snaps Hunter Henry – 66 snaps
Hayden Hurst – 33 snaps Donald Parham – 14 snaps
Jaeden Graham – 11 snaps Stephen Anderson – 3 snaps
HB HB
Ito Smith – 25 snaps Austin Ekeler – 44 snaps
Todd Gurley II – 19 snaps Kalen Ballage – 23 snaps
Brian Hill – 9 snaps Justin Jackson – 11 snaps
Total – 57 snaps Total – 73 snaps

Winner: WR Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons didn’t have Julio Jones, so Ridley needed to be the Falcons top receiver for the game. Ridley put together his second-consecutive 100-yard game with 124 yards on eight catches and a touchdown. The touchdown came on a pass from Russell Gage, who also stepped up as a receiver. Gage gained 82 receiving yards on five catches. No other Falcons player had more than 12 receiving yards.

Waiver Wire Target: RB Ito Smith, Atlanta Falcons

Smith’s role has grown in the Falcons offense in recent weeks, while Todd Gurley II’s role has declined. Smith handled 11 carries, his most this year in a game in which Gurley was active. Gurley saw a season-low six carries and gained 19 yards. Brian Hill remained a part of the offense as the third-down back. Smith is the only one of the three under contract for next year, so he should continue to see the majority of the work.

Injury: WR Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers

Williams left the game after two snaps with a back injury and didn’t return. Second-year wide receiver Tyron Johnson took over and saw his most significant playing time of the season. He ended up leading the Chargers wide receivers in receiving yards at 55. He caught six of seven passes thrown his way and also scored a touchdown. Johnson has graded well in limited action this season and should be a dynasty target.

Washington Football Team at San Francisco 49ers

Washington Football Team San Francisco 49ers
WR WR
Cam Sims – 59 snaps Brandon Aiyuk – 74 snaps
Terry McLaurin – 58 snaps Kendrick Bourne – 72 snaps
Steven Sims – 23 snaps Richie James Jr. – 26 snaps
Isaiah Wright – 17 snaps River Cracraft – 14 snaps
Robert Foster – 5 snaps Deebo Samuel – 1 snap
TE TE
Logan Thomas – 62 snaps Ross Dwelley – 36 snaps
Jeremy Sprinkle – 15 snaps Jordan Reed – 33 snaps
Marcus Baugh – 4 snaps Charlie Woerner – 24 snaps
HB HB
J.D. McKissic – 41 snaps Raheem Mostert – 40 snaps
Peyton Barber – 30 snaps Jeff Wilson Jr. – 39 snaps
Tevin Coleman – 2 snaps
Total – 63 snaps Total – 81 snaps

Winner: WR Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers

Aiyuk was the main source of offense for the 49ers. His 16 targets were the most for a player this week as of the start of Sunday Night Football. He brought down 10 catches on those targets for 119 yards. His production was especially impressive considering how good Washington had been at stopping wide receivers this season.

A big reason for his high target total was Deebo Samuel exiting the game after one snap due to a hamstring injury. This meant Kenrick Bourne went from just playing in three-wide-receiver sets to playing in all formations, while Richie James Jr. took over in three-wide-receiver sets. They finished second and third in receiving yards for the 49ers with 42 and 33 yards, respectively. Bourne could be a decent wide receiver waiver wire target if the Samuel injury is significant.

Injury: QB Alex Smith, Washington Football Team

Smith left the game near the end of the first half with a strained calf and didn’t return. The veteran wasn’t very productive, with only eight completions on 19 attempts for 57 yards and an interception. Dwayne Haskins came in and didn’t fare any better. He was 7-for-12 for 51 yards. This meant none of the Washington receivers met expectations for the game. Haskins should be left on the waiver wire if Smith misses time, and it likely won’t have a major impact on any of the Washington skill players.

Injury Replacement: RB J.D. McKissic, Washington Football Team

Antonio Gibson was held out of this game with a toe injury, leading to a two-back rotation between McKissic and Peyton Barber. McKissic was significantly more effective on the ground than Barber, with 68 yards on 11 carries. Barber gained 37 on 12 attempts. McKissic’s rushing attempts and yards were both season highs for him. He wasn’t involved in the pass game as much as usual with two catches for 18 yards. It was his fewest receiving yards in a game since October. The schedule looks better for Washington going forward, so McKissic should reach the RB2 range if Gibson misses more time.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills

Pittsburgh Steelers Buffalo Bills
WR WR
JuJu Smith-Schuster – 57 snaps Stefon Diggs – 70 snaps
James Washington – 46 snaps Gabriel Davis – 62 snaps
Chase Claypool – 38 snaps Cole Beasley – 61 snaps
Diontae Johnson – 28 snaps Isaiah McKenzie – 10 snaps
Ray-Ray McCloud III – 4 snaps Jake Kumerow – 4 snaps
TE TE
Eric Ebron – 38 snaps Dawson Knox – 60 snaps
Vance McDonald – 19 snaps Lee Smith – 29 snaps
Reggie Gilliam – 4 snaps
HB HB
Jaylen Samuels – 27 snaps Zack Moss – 44 snaps
James Conner – 23 snaps Devin Singletary – 30 snaps
Benny Snell Jr. – 5 snaps
Total – 57 snaps Total – 75 snaps

Winner: WR Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills

Diggs was the star of the Bills' offense, just as he’s been for most of the season. He caught 10 of the 14 passes thrown his way for 130 yards and a touchdown. The rest of the Bills' offense gained 108 receiving yards on 14 catches.

Diggs is the first player of the season to hit 100 receptions. And while he is in a heated battle for the league lead in receiving yards for a wide receiver, it will be difficult for the Bills pass-catcher to take home that particular honor, given his remaining schedule.

Losers: WR Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers

Johnson came into the week as the league leader in dropped passes, with 10 on the year and five of them in the last two games. Johnson then proceeded to drop two passes within the first five minutes of this Sunday night game.

The second-year wideout was promptly benched and missed the following 30 minutes of the game, and he ended the day with four catches for 40 yards. While that wasn’t the worst receiving performance of the day, he could have seen many more catches and targets tonight.

This game also wasn’t a good sign for Claypool. Claypool surpassed James Washington on the depth chart in Week 6 and consistently received more playing time than Washington in each game until Week 13. The two shared the workload with Johnson on the bench tonight, but when the second half came around, Washington played 17 snaps to Claypool's four. Both Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster played all 21 second-half snaps. 

It would be okay to cut Claypool with so little of the season left. He certainly can’t be trusted to start next week, and if he does have a good week, they face a tough Colts defense in Week 16. 

Returning From Reserve/Covid-19: RB James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers

Conner missed the last two games while on the Covid-19 list, and the Steelers failed to find much success in the run game in those games. That carried on this week with Conner back.

The Steelers' starter gained 18 yards on 10 carries, his lowest rushing total in a game since Week 1. Conner started the game with his usual early-down role, playing 84.6% of early-down snaps in the first quarter.  He played 24.2% of early-down snaps in the following three quarters and, unusually, split the third-down work with Jaylen Samuels all night.

The Steelers have a favorable matchup against the Bengals next week, but we could see a number of running backs try to take advantage of them, rather than just Conner.

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